Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D—Ohio) says healthcare is “the next civil rights movement”

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If last night proved anything, it’s that nothing gets a Georgetown classroom packed like one of the most liberal members of Congress discussing what he considers “the next civil rights movement”—healthcare.

During his speech, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D—Ohio) focused primarily on the importance of passing the bill he co-authored, HR 676, or, “Medicare for All.”  The bill would take the existing Medicare system and expand it cover everyone.

Of course, the big question is how such an expansion would be paid for.  Kucinich’s comeback to that concern was that “We’re already paying for a universal standard of care we’re not getting.”

“2.4 trillion dollars a year we spend on healthcare in America,” he explained in his speech. “One out of every 3 dollars, or $800 million a year goes for corporate profit, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, and the cost of paperwork. So the for-profit healthcare system has a lot at stake here.”

Kucinich also mused on the current healthcare bill’s prospects in Congress, saying he predicts the House will have a public option in its version, but the Senate won’t.

“The public option is not likely to survive a conference committee,” he said.

During the question and answer portion of the talk, he also expressed disagreement with the idea that passing Senate Finance Chairman Max Bachus’s (D—Mont.) healthcare bill would be “better than nothing” and criticized the power that has been given to insurance companies.

Photography by Jackson Perry.

3 Comments on “Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D—Ohio) says healthcare is “the next civil rights movement”

  1. a packed classroom for Dennis Kucinich … only at georgetown?

  2. He’s right about Bachus’ bill… it would be a fatal mistake to let the corrupt insurance agencies to have a stake in this. Americans cannot settle for anything BUT single payer. We have lost too much already, this is where the line needs to be drawn.

  3. Another good article discussing the issue plainly, and clearly.
    The thing to understand about the Bill wending it’s way into your life, is that you will be REQUIRED to buy health insurance – even if you cannot afford it. And if you don’t, you will be heavily fined by the Government. This effectively gives the for-profit Insurance companies 30 million new customers. A nice little side effect, no?

    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090927/OPINION06/90918053/1006

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